“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair” (Mann). After the 9/11 attack that was carried out by the Islamic terrorist group (al-Qaeda) in the United States and took the lives of numerous Americans, the efforts to combat terrorism increased. Prior to this eye-opening incident, the majority of Americans did not have negative views and opinions on the Middle-East people; however, much has changed since. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security was established by the Bush Administration in efforts to address our concerns about national safety (Green). Another lasting effect of the tragic incident—lost of trust between both nations— are found in the book _Watched_, by Marina Budhos.

In this novel, Naeem, a Muslim teenager who received the opportunity to live with his father, step-mother, and stepbrother in America, was scouted by two federal officials to spy on “his own kind”—Muslims. Naeem didn’t want to add more weight to his family, therefore, he agreed. This scene showed the lack of trust between the white officials and the Muslim community which caused the officials to get a person on the inside to do the “dirty work”.  And although this story is fiction, it is based on real events and issues that circle around the central concern of trusting Muslims in America. On another note, this book was published 18 years after the 9/11 incident, which just goes to show that the extent and lasting effects can still be seen in our American society.

The lasting effect of anti-Muslim can be found everywhere. For example, in Baltimore, an official was found sharing an anti-Muslim post, “Share if you think President Trump should ban Islam in American Schools” (Cook). This goes to show how even the public officials in the United States are discriminatory against that group of people; the discrimination is caused partly due to lack of trust between America and the Middle-East. Many Muslims in America have spoken out about how it’s like to live here today including this one: “As a Muslim immigrant in America, I won’t pretend that I wasn’t concerned – for my security, for my kids, for our future in this polarised country”. While being in America for the first few weeks, Hasan has never felt any more threatened by his own president: Donald Trump. When Trump made the comment that “Islam hates us”, many Muslims like Hasan have felt extremely out of place and have found themselves starting to lose trust for American society (Hasan).

While there are incidents that are less severe, there are also hate crimes that are destructive and dangerous. A man was charged with several hate crime charges after he was caught throwing Molotov cocktails at many buildings—including an Islamic center—in hopes to inflict as much pain to Muslims as he can. He also gave a statement to the police saying that he hated Muslims and expressed how much he wanted to take out Muslims and Arabs (Carrega-Woodby). In November 2017, a mosque was vandalized with anti-Muslim messages which caused the Muslims to distrust America even more. Meanwhile, in Bloomington, an explosive was thrown through a window at an Islamic Center. Although no one was injured nor killed, the FBI was involved and their investigation was carried out soon after. And although they carried out the investigation, no suspect was found. All of these situations have led to increased mistrust between Americans and Middle-East people; not only is the American government not helping its current relations with them but the president of the United States, Trump is also making matters worse with his negative and hateful comments towards Muslims.

In conclusion, the lack of trust between America and the Middle-East that was started years ago still has a lasting effect on the modern generation and very likely, future generations as well. Though it took less than one day for the trust to be broken, you can bet that it will take years to fix this broken trust. It could also be possible that the trust may never be fixed, especially when considering where our society is today. Hate incidents over hate incidents show that Americans are not necessarily willing to accept Muslims in their homeland. 

Works Cited

Araujo, Alejandra. “Trust Takes Years To Build, Seconds To Break And Forever To Repair.” Dhar Mann, 2 Mar. 2019, www.dharmann.com/trust-takes-years-to-build-seconds-to-break-and-forever-to-repair/.

Budhos, Marina. Watched. Random House Children’s Books, 2016.

Carrega-Woodby, Christina. “Hatred Fueled Queens Man to Toss Molotov Cocktail at Mosque.” New York Post, New York Post, 5 Jan. 2012, nypost.com/2012/01/05/hatred-fueled-queens-man-to-toss-molotov-cocktail-at-mosque/.

Cook, Chase. “Grasso, Muslim Council President Meet over Anti-Islam Facebook Posts.” Capitalgazette.com, Capital Gazette, 23 June 2019, www.capitalgazette.com/politics/ac-cn-grasso-rudwan-1007-story.html.

Green, Matthew. “How 9/11 Changed America: Four Major Lasting Impacts (with Lesson Plan).” KQED, 11 Sept. 2019, www.kqed.org/lowdown/14066/13-years-later-four-major-lasting-impacts-of-911.

Hill, Cleve, and Sarah R. Watchko. “Use the Proper Tools to Fix a Broken Trust.” Planning for Life, Planning Wisely, 25 May 2018, www.estatelawga.com/use-the-proper-tools-to-fix-a-broken-trust/.

Hasan, Mehdi. “How It Feels to Be a Muslim in Trump’s America.” How It Feels to Be a Muslim in Trump’s America, 23 Jan. 2018, www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2018/01/how-it-feels-be-muslim-trump-s-america.

History.com Editors. “September 11 Attacks.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 17 Feb. 2010, www.history.com/topics/21st-century/9-11-attacks.

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December 6, 2019 9:35 pm


Your post was very interesting and eye-opening to read. I have dealt with many instances where my trust has been broken and the quote that you said in the beginning (“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair”) was something that I connected to. I think that there have been a lot of cases, big and small, that people have had to deal with their trust being broken or mishandled. When trust is broken, a lot of things can change. Also, your connection to 9/11 and how so many Americans saw Muslims differently after this incident reminded me of a book I read that had a teenage Muslim girl as the main character that faced so much discrimination and prejudice just because she was Muslim. Are there any other instances that you think that trust in the world has been broken or changed?

Thank you for sharing this!
Kaitlyn Taylor
Judge Memorial

December 6, 2019 6:44 pm

I like this article a lot. The quote at the beginning (“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair”) was a nice way to start out the article. This topic is extremely important in this day and age. This might be an interesting paper to check out https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2008.00689.x
Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue.
-Natalie Risse 🙂

December 6, 2019 2:43 pm

I think your post brings up an important point. By hating someone for something they did, you only make the situation with that person worse. I think it is necessary for people to repair trust, but the question is, are people willing to go through that trouble? both side will have to be actively trying to build trust in order for it to be successfully restored. so I wonder, do you think that people are willing to do that?

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